The Marlins believe Adeiny Hechavarria to be one of the top defensive shortstops in the majors. But, from the standpoint of sabermetrics, he ranks as one of the worst -- and the Marlins want to find out why. "I know an above average defensive shortstop when I see one with my own eyes," said Michael Hill, the Marlins' president of baseball operations. "The numbers don't match."
Never mind Giancarlo Stanton. When it comes to hot trading commodities, the Marlins have what other teams desire most: young starting pitching. And odds are the Marlins will deal one or more of their young hurlers in order to acquire a young hitter of equal talent. "That’s the only scenario that makes sense," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said Wednesday at the general managers meetings. "Our close-to-major-league-ready pitching, our young major-league starting pitching, is attractive. There’s been interest in that, and for good reason."
With the GM meetings coming to a halt Thursday in Orlando, Florida, teams have had a chance to lay groundwork for future moves to be made later this off-season. One team Miami Marlins fans should keep an eye on apparently is the Chicago Cubs.
The Miami Marlins have identified catcher as a position that they would like to improve on for the 2014 season and beyond. The Marlins have been scouring the free agent and trade market to find a viable solution.
A report surfaced during the General Managers' meetings Tuesday that free agent catcher Carlos Ruiz, who turns 35 in January, had already received a two-year, $20 million offer. If that's an accurate indication of where the catching market is heading, the Marlins might be hard-pressed to upgrade at that spot. As admirably as Jeff Mathis performed, particularly handling the club's young pitchers, Marlins' catchers collectively had a .194/.249/.280 slash line, last by far in all three categories. The average for NL catching corps in 2013: .245/.307/.379.
Fans looking to evaluate whether a player may be a good offseason trade acquisition for the Marlins should start with this number: Service time. Though the Marlins are in need of offensive upgrades at several positions, don't look for them to go after guys like Orioles' catcher Matt Wieters or Cardinals' third baseman David Freese, both of whom are rumored to be available. Both are second-time arbitration-eligible and would qualify for free agency after 2016.
Jose Fernandez was at Marlins Park Sunday for an interview. One of the questions was what he would say to his grandmother back in Cuba. As he began to speak, she appeared. "I didn’t talk, didn’t move," Fernandez said. "I think my body stopped for a little while. I talk, a lot. For me not to talk, I was in shock."
Jose Fernandez had done a dozen or so interviews with an assortment of reporters, television stations and networks Monday night. As usual, he'd handled them perfectly, thanking the right people, saying the right thing. "I'm so blessed," he said at several points. To hear Fernandez and to watch him is to be amazed that he's all of 21 years old, that his big league career really has hit only about the 15-minute mark. When the interviews were all wrapped up, he still had one more thing to do. No one prompted Fernandez. He just did it.
As Jose Fernandez prepares for his sophomore season, the 21-year-old makes it clear he is ready to graduate to another innings level. Half-jokingly, Fernandez proclaimed: "There won't be any innings limits, because I will get pretty upset." Still, Fernandez understands the Marlins have a plan to gradually increase his innings. That range hasn't been firmly set, but it appears 200 innings is certainly possible.
No deals are imminent for the Marlins, but several potential matchups are taking shape as the General Managers Meetings wind down. "I will leave here encouraged," president of baseball operations Michael Hill said.
Being a National League Rookie of the Year Award finalist was expected, but Jose Fernandez had no clue he would be in the top three in the NL Cy Young Award picture. When the results were announced on Wednesday night, the Marlins' ace ended up taking the bronze medal in the voting. In the big picture, third place is no small consolation for the premier prize for an NL pitcher.
Around The League
Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo lead a top-heavy list of outfielders on this year's free-agent market. But with only four or five quality outfielders available, each one will come at a high price. Here's your guide to the best options on the market.
The Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center hosted a special program on Wednesday night, bringing together a panel of five current and former managers to discuss their jobs and experiences in baseball. Former skippers Tony La Russa and Jim Leyland joined active skippers Joe Girardi, Don Mattingly and Buck Showalter to discuss their experiences and philosophies.
Major League Baseball took a significant step toward implementing expanded instant replay on Thursday as the owners unanimously approved of funding for the system.
Major League Baseball will donate $200,000 to UNICEF and the American Red Cross to assist with disaster relief efforts in the Philippines, struck by Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms on record. Additionally, MLB will encourage fans to support UNICEF and the Red Cross via public-service announcements, programming mentions and editorial coverage on MLB Network and MLB.com.
At Fish Stripes
Miami Marlins team president David Samson reiterated the team's opinion on no-trade clauses when asked about trying to sign Giancarlo Stanton to a long-term extension.
On this day in team history, the Marlins shockingly sent Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, and two others to Toronto for a four-player, three-prospect package. The payroll-motivated deal signified that the days of fire sales weren't quite over.
The Marlins boast some speed in their minor league system. Here are the top five speed tools in the Marlins' organization.
The Miami Marlins have a few additional roster decisions to make regarding the team's other arbitration players and potential free agent decisions under the 2014 Fish Stripes Marlins Offseason Plan.
The Miami Marlins have a little bit of salary remaining, and they can use some of that money to purchase a stopgap at the third base position in Juan Uribe.